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The global in-flight entertainment & connectivity market size was USD 5.71 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 7.68 billion by 2027, exhibiting a CAGR of 9.76% during the forecast period.
The in-flight entertainment & connectivity (IFEC) system enhances the passenger's travel experience and makes them feel safe and comfortable during air travel. These technology devices are portable and non-portable. Recently, airline operators started to offer in-flight entertainment (IFE) systems that permit passengers to use the mobile phone and video stream on personal devices using the in-flight Wi-Fi facility.
The rise in the number of air passengers is the primary factor driving the growth of the market during the forecast period. According to Airport Council International (ACI), in 2019, the global airline carried around 9.10 billion passengers, an increase of 3.5% compared to 2018. However, in 2020, the COVID-19 impact has a drastic impact on global air passenger traffic. According to ACI, post-COVID-19 effect, the number of passenger travel has reduced to around 59% compared to 2019. This has changed the dynamics of the global inflight entertainment and connectivity market.
Decline in Adoption of IFEC System amid COVID-19 to Hinder Growth
The aviation industry has witnessed a significant impact of COVID-19. The decline in commercial aircraft deliveries amid the coronavirus outbreak has impacted the sale of the IFEC system for airline operators. This factor is expected to hamper the market growth during the forecast period. In July 2020, Panasonic Aviation Corporation released its first-quarter report and confirmed a decline in the sale of IFEC hardware and repair and maintenance services. However, several key players are focusing on adopting new strategies to overcome the impact of the novel coronavirus.
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Increasing Adoption of SATCOM Technology to Aid Market Growth
In satellite communication technology, the higher the frequency, the more bandwidth is available, and the higher the bandwidth, the more data can be transferred. In SATCOM, different frequency bands are present such as L, S, C, X, Ku, K, and Ka. The Ka-band utilizes a 26.5-40GHz range, which is the largest frequency range among other bands. Thus, the Ka-band offers high-speed transmission of information compared to other frequency bands such as Ku-band and L-band. Consequently, the airlines are looking forward to offering an in-flight entertainment & connectivity framework based on the Ka-band SATCOM network. This technology is expected to reduce data streaming time and offer high-speed internet access.
In August 2020, DC Aviation Group announced plans to upgrade its global 5000 aircraft with SCS Elite (Elite Smart Cabin System) designed by Gogo, LLC. The company further mentioned that the aircraft was equipped with a new satellite communication system and an Inmarsat SwiftBroadband high data rate service.
Growing Need to Improve Passengers In-Flight Experience to Drive Market Growth
The cabin interiors, comfortable seat structures, entertainment solutions, and high-speed internet access facilities together play an essential role in improving the passenger’s overall travel experience. Therefore, the key IFE service providers in the market are focusing on developing technologically advanced solutions that help keep passengers delighted and safe during long haul flights. Besides, the airline operators invest in modernizing the IFE connectivity and content facilities to replace conventional solutions. Also, the low-cost carriers are replacing the conventional aircraft seating structures integrated with in-flight entertainment systems with premium seat structure, which is expected to propel the growth of the market during the forecast period.
Increasing Focus on Maintenance of IFEC Equipment to Propel Market Growth
Improper handling of airplane IFEC equipment by passengers can increase the chances of damage to an IFE hardware system and associated components. Subsequently, the failure of such electronic devices results in the frequent maintenance of these gadgets. This, in turn, upsurges the demand for repairing and replacing the hardware component. The increasing focus on maintenance and repair activities is expected to bode well for the market growth
Complex IFEC System Design Architecture to Impede the Market Growth
The complete in-flight entertainment & connectivity system architecture comprises the hardware setup, hassle-free connectivity solution, and large data content for media streaming, which increases the design complexity. Moreover, the IFEC hardware system includes costly media devices such as gaming consoles, monitors, headphones, and electronic media devices. The damage to these devices requires a high cost associated with the repair service. This increases the overall operating cost of the IFEC hardware system. These factors are likely to hamper the market growth during the forecast period. However, the rising trend of offering media content streaming on passenger’s own devices can overcome the restraining factor in upcoming years.
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IFE Content Segment to Register Highest Growth due to Increasing Adoption of SATCOM Technology
Based on type, the market is segmented into IFE hardware, IFE connectivity, and IFE content.
The IFE hardware segment is subdivided into a portable IFE system and a non-portable IFE system. The IFE hardware segment is estimated to hold a major market share in the base year due to increased aircraft deliveries. In 2019, Airbus SE delivered a total of 863 aircraft compared to 800 in 2018.
The IFE connectivity segment is further split into wired connectivity and wireless connectivity. This segment is likely to experience significant growth during the forecast period due to the rise in demand for wireless inflight entertainment solutions. For instance, in September 2020, Global Eagle Entertainment Inc. introduced its new battery or aircraft-powered portable wireless IFE solution, Airconnect Go 2.0. This portable WIFI allows the passenger to stream media content on their mobile phones.
The IFE content segment is anticipated to grow with the highest CAGR during the forecast period. This growth is attributed to the growing adoption of advanced SATCOM technology-based inflight connectivity services. SATCOM-based IFEC system provides high-speed internet access to the passenger for media content streaming that helps airline operators to keep passengers happy, engaged, and feel safe during the flight.
Growing Installation of Premium Economy Class Seats from Low-Cost Airlines to Spur Demand
In terms of class, the market is divided into first-class, business class, premium economy class, and economy class.
The business class segment dominates the market with a large share in 2019. This large share is attributed to the growing focus of airline operators on offering more comfort and safety and enhanced inflight experience by providing them premium facilities. Besides, the increasing spending on premium traveling by passengers is anticipated to drive the business class segment's growth.
The premium economy class segment is anticipated to grow with the highest CAGR during the forecast period. This growth is due to the upsurge in installing premium economy class seats by the low-cost carriers to provide a passenger an improved traveling experience. Besides, most air travelers prefer premium economy class over business class due to the high cost of business class tickets.
Increase in Orders for Narrow-Body Aircraft for Long Haul to Drive Growth
The market based on aircraft type includes narrow-body aircraft, wide-body aircraft, business jets, and regional aircraft.
The narrow-body aircraft type segment is projected to dominate the market during the forecast period. This is due to the increasing demand for narrow-body aircraft from low-cost carriers to provide domestic and international air travel services.
OEM Segment to Account for Dominant Market Share
In terms of end-user, the market is divided into OEM and aftermarket.
Among these, the aftermarket segment registered the largest market share in 2019. This growth is due to the increased up-gradation of current fleets to improve passenger comfort and safety.
The OEM segment is anticipated to grow at a higher growth rate during the forecast period. This growth is attributed to the development of advanced seat structures integrated with advanced IFE systems for commercial, long-haul flights across the world.
North America In-Flight Entertainment & Connectivity Market Size, 2019 (USD Billion)
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In terms of geography, the in-flight entertainment & connectivity market is divided into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle East, and Rest of the World.
In 2019, North America stood at USD 2.10 billion. The dominance of North America is due to the increasing demand for electric jets and long-range business jets in the U.S. Moreover, several key market players in the U.S. such as Panasonic Avionics Corporation, Gogo LLC, and Collins Aerospace, among others, are likely to boost the market growth in the region. In addition to this, North America has the presence of top airline operators in the world. The U.S. registered 13,000 jet aircraft during 2019 to propel the demand for advanced in-flight entertainment & connectivity systems during the forecast period.
Europe is estimated to hold the second-largest market share owing to the rising adoption of 5G technology in the aviation industry. This will facilitate the adoption and up-gradation of the IFEC system to enhance in-flight connectivity. Furthermore, Europe has primary market players such as Lufthansa Systems GmbH & Co. KG, Safran, and Thales group. These factors help to drive the growth of the market in Europe.
The market in Asia Pacific is projected to grow at the highest growth rate during the forecast period. This growth is due to the rising adoption of the in-flight entertainment & connectivity system by low-cost airline carriers to enhance passengers' travel experience. Besides, the rising number of air passengers in developing countries such as China and India is likely to support the region's growth.
The market in the Middle East is anticipated to showcase significant growth during the forecast period owing to the major number of air passengers in this region. Besides, the rising investment by the airline operators to provide an improved inflight experience to the passenger is driving the market.
Rest of the World is anticipated to showcase moderate growth in the market due to the increasing number of air passengers in the region.
Key Players Focusing on Product Innovation to Offer Wide Range of IFEC Solutions to Sustain in Market
The global in-flight entertainment & connectivity market is fragmented with several key players such as Panasonic Avionics Corporation, Gogo LLC, Collins Aerospace, Burrana Pty Ltd, and Viasat, Inc., among others. These key players involved in the market are mainly focusing on the innovation and development of new IFEC technology.
The strategic acquisition and the increasing investment in research and development activities are a few additional factors responsible for the dominance of these companies. For Instance, in June 2020, Burrana Pty Ltd launched its new in-flight entertainment & connectivity platform, known as RISE. This new IFEC platform is expected to improve the passenger experience, operational efficiency, and help airline operators increase revenue generation and reduce capital and operating budget.
An Infographic Representation of In-Flight Entertainment & Connectivity Market
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The in-flight entertainment & connectivity market research report provides a detailed analysis of the market. It encompasses key aspects such as R&D capabilities and optimization of the manufacturing process. The report also offers insights into the global market for in-flight entertainment & connectivity trends and highlights key industry developments. In addition to the aforementioned factors, the report encompasses several factors that have contributed to advanced market growth.
Value (USD Billion)
By Aircraft Type
Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 5.71 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 7.68 billion by 2027.
The market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 9.76% during the forecast period (2020-2027).
The IFE content product segment is anticipated to be the leading segment in this market between 2020-2027.
The increasing demand for more comfortable and safe aircraft seats is the key factor that is expected to drive the growth of the market.
Panasonic Avionics Corporation, Gogo LLC, Collins Aerospace, Burrana Pty Ltd, and Viasat, Inc. are some of the key players involved in the global market.
North America held the largest share in the market in 2019.
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